Well, I have done it again. In my feverish excitement of typing up my trials and tribulations of building apparatus I deleted the entire entry. So we begin again...
With the folding mat behind me, I turn to making the ladder barrel. For those of you who are not familiar, www.Pilatesinsight.com has a great description, "...this piece of Pilates equipment consists of ladder-like rungs and a rounded barrel-like surface on which a multitude of stretching, strengthening and flexibility exercises can be performed. The barrel is separated from the ladder by a sliding base that can adjust...The Pilates Ladder Barrel helps isolate deep postural muscles and challenges the body on all planes of movement."
Essentially, I need to construct two separate pieces and combine them to create the ladder barrel. And we aren't talking Lincoln Log assembly, this is some Geppetto's workshop business. I decide to do the ladder/frame portion first.
All of the measuring and cutting of the wood was done at the very beginning, so I grab what I need for the ladder and get to it. In order to assemble the ladder, holes must be drilled into what will be the upright portion of the frame so the rungs can be inserted. Things to consider when doing this: 1) Make sure that the holes for the rungs are level with one another, 2) The holes for the rungs are only drilled part-way through, so the depth must be uniform. This may require x-ray vision, 3)The interior surface of the drilled holes must be flush with the end of the rung, so sanding and/or chiseling may be required. Upon completing the 'drill hole' step, I take the rungs and make sure they fit properly, which they do. Yay!
Up next is attaching the upright 'ladder' part of the frame to the bottom section. So, I prop the ladder so it is upright against a wall and it is waaaaay too tall. I had used the lumber that was meant for the bottom frame, which is about 8 inches longer than it should be. The quick fix would be to just cut off the extra length, but that is a no go. The measurements for the holes are from the bottom, so cutting it off would put the alignment way out of whack. While I do have the correct pieces of wood for the ladder, I no longer have what I need for the bottom frame and don't have spare lumber. Back to Home Depot I go and start the process over to make ladder #2. Now I can move on to attaching the ladder to the bottom frame.
Part of what holds the ladder to the bottom of the frame are brackets that are placed to connect the separate pieces. Channels need to be chiseled out where the brackets will go, partially for aesthetic reasons, partially for safety. The particular brackets that are to be used are 1/8 inch thick, therefore I need to carve out a channel that is 1/8 of an inch deep. Sure, no problem. Even though this was probably the most tedious part of the process, I really enjoyed doing it.
With the chiseling complete, the ladder/frame can be assembled. Put some screws in, slap a little wood glue on and pop in the hole filler and we got ourselves a ladder and frame. I'm pleasantly surprised that it looks relatively legit.